21 April 2011
Following a £3.5m make-over, The Central Fire and Rescue Station in Leicester has been named the best restoration of 2010, at Leicester Civic Society’s awards ceremony for architecture.
Constructed between 1925 and 1927, the Grade ll listed building represented the very best of facilities in the late 1920s but didn’t meet current day demands – leading to a total refurbishment of the fire station.
The two-storey structure was project-managed from start to finish by expert consultants from WYG who were appointed by Leicester Fire and Rescue Services.
Philip Norris, Regional Director, WYG said: “When we were appointed on the project, much of the space had become redundant and underutilised. Our project manager and design team investigated various options, including sale of the building for alternative uses but it was decided that a total refurbishment scheme was the best value for money.
“It is great that the hard work of those involved has been recognised through Leicester Civic Society’s award and that the intricacy of the phased development, which allowed the station to remain operational for the duration of the contract, has been recognised.”
Areas of the project included maintaining the original external doors, replacement of the windows with double glazed units to exactly match the existing style and the use of multilayer insulation throughout all roof areas under new pantiles, also matching the original profile.
Stuart Bailey, Restoration Civic Society chairman said: "We were bowled over by the fire station. It was stunning.
"There's been nothing spared in the restoration and everything, including the lawns and the fences, are back to how they were in 1925. The most remarkable feature of this building, and one that instantly caught the imagination of the adjudication panel, is that it is still a busy working fire station after eighty-five years and as such is obviously more than fit for purpose.
"It's an incredible building and it still functions perfectly well as a 21st century fire station."
Peter Roffey, chairman of Leicestershire Combined Fire Authority, said: "This award confirms the decision to restore Central Fire and Rescue Station to its pride of place within the community.
"It provides our firefighters with a modern, fully functional fire and rescue station."
During the construction a suspended ceiling to the original first floor recreational hall was removed to reveal the original vaulted plasterwork and large central roof light. Following careful repair and replacement of the roof light the area has been transformed into general office space. The bar and billiard room now house meeting rooms, offices and washroom facilities.
As well as project management, WYG also provided engineering services to the project and was supported by architect Ferguson Sayell and quantity surveyor Baker Mallett.
The Central Fire and Rescue Station has also been shortlisted for the 2011 LABC East Midlands Building Excellence Awards.